Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The End In the Beginning?

T.S. Eliot said that "The end is in the beginning." 

I’ve always heard that it is not only wise to plant the ending of a story in the beginning, but necessary. Not in an obvious way, of course, but subtly. The beginning of a well-told tale should at least hint as to where that story is going, and perhaps where it will end.

This is one of the many reasons why, for me, much of writing is revising. I outline and yet, because I don’t force myself to stick to the outline (it’s more of a safety net), I often need to revise my story based on what the first draft ends up becoming. I almost always need to adjust my story beginning (adjust often being a nice way of saying rewrite) to suite my story ending.

How about you? If you are a writer, do you try to allude to your story endings in those story beginnings?

If you are a reader, do you appreciate how the ending of a story is sometimes reflected in the beginning of that tale?